Many of the U.S.'s most gay-friendly neighborhoods are in some of the country's most expensive real estate markets. But there are also plenty of more affordable options for same-sex couples, according to real estate website Trulia.
Trulia identified zip codes with the heaviest concentrations of gay men and women by examining Census Bureau statistics. It then determined a neighborhood's affordability by looking at the median price per square foot of homes listed in that particular zip code over the past year.
Even though the neighborhoods with the densest population of same-sex couples were among the nation's most expensive, including San Francisco's Castro neighborhood for male couples and Provincetown/Cape Cod, Mass. for same-sex female couples, Trulia found gay communities in affordable areas as well.
In the Castro district, for example, more than 14% of the households are made up of same-sex male couples -- the highest rate in the nation, according to Census data. It's also the city's highest-priced gay neighborhood at $671 a square foot. But eight miles south is Brisbane, another gay-friendly enclave that costs half that amount at $311 a square foot.
In New York, Chelsea is the top choice for many gay men. There, the median home price has hit nearly $1,200 per square foot, according to Trulia. That means a modest-sized two-bedroom condo can cost a gay couple more than $1.2 million, an amount that is out of the reach for many home buyers.
A short train ride away, however, is downtown Jersey City, N.J., where many same-sex couples live, according to Trulia. The median price per square foot there is $452, almost one-third of the prices in Manhattan.
For lesbian couples in the New York metro area, the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope, where the average home costs $664 per square foot, is the neighborhood of choice. While significantly cheaper than the Manhattan neighborhoods where many same-sex male couples reside, the prices are still steep. But Nyack, a bucolic Hudson River town about 25 miles north of Midtown Manhattan that is home to a fair number of same-sex couples, is much more affordable at $266 a square foot.
Trulia noted that the Census data it used to identify neighborhoods with large concentrations of same-sex couples required some "corrections and adjustments" since Census doesn't ask respondents about sexual orientation. In total, the Census reported around 646,000 same-sex households in the U.S. in 2010, just 0.6% of the country's 117 million households, Trulia said.
Below is a list of the neighborhoods with the highest percentage of gay residents and the median price per square foot to buy a home there. In addition, Trulia provided the most affordable, gay-friendly alternatives for both same-sex male couples and female couples.
10 affordable neighborhoods in top gay-friendly cities
Most popular neighborhood among same-sex male couples: Castro, San Francisco ($671 per square foot). Affordable alternative: Brisbane, Calif. ($311 per square foot).
Most popular neighborhood among same-sex female couples: Castro, San Francisco ($671 per square foot). Affordable alternative: Redwood Heights, Oakland ($230 per square foot).
Most popular neighborhood among same-sex male couples: Chelsea, New York ($1,199 per square foot). Affordable alternative: Jersey City, N.J. ($452 per square foot).
Most popular neighborhood among same-sex female couples: Park Slope, Brooklyn ($664 per square foot). Affordable alternative: Nyack, New York ($266 per square foot).
Most popular neighborhood among same-sex male couples: West Hollywood, Los Angeles ($481 per square foot). Affordable alternative: Signal Hill, Long Beach ($200 per square foot).
Most popular neighborhood among same-sex female couples: West Hollywood, Los Angeles ($481 per square foot). Affordable alternative: Eastside, Long Beach ($207 per square foot).